Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
June 8, 2010


(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 8, 2010)

THE MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND HEADS OF DELEGATION OF THE MEMBER STATES OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS), gathered in Lima, Peru, on the occasion of the fortieth regular session of the General Assembly,

CONFIRMING respect for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Charter of the Organization of American States and committed to strict compliance therewith, as well as with the other regional and subregional instruments that reaffirm our commitment to peace and our desire to provide security for our peoples;

REAFFIRMING the importance of the legal instruments of the United Nations System and those of the inter-American system on peace, security, and cooperation;

REAFFIRMING ALSO that Article 2 of the Charter of the Organization of American States establishes that the essential purposes of the Organization are: (a) to strengthen the peace and security of the continent; (b) to promote and consolidate representative democracy, with due respect for the principle of nonintervention; (c) to prevent possible causes of difficulties and to ensure the pacific settlement of disputes that may arise among the member states; (d) to provide for common action on the part of those states in the event of aggression; (e) to seek the solution of political, juridical, and economic problems that may arise among them; (f) to promote, by cooperative action, their economic, social, and cultural development; (g) to eradicate extreme poverty, which constitutes an obstacle to the full democratic development of the peoples of the Hemisphere; and (h) to achieve an effective limitation of conventional weapons that will make it possible to devote the largest amount of resources to the economic and social development of the member states;

REAFFIRMING LIKEWISE that Article 19 of the OAS Charter establishes that no state or group of states has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the state or against its political, economic, and cultural elements;

REAFFIRMING the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the principles contained therein;

REAFFIRMING that the participatory nature of democracy in our countries in the different spheres of public activity contributes to the consolidation of democratic values and to freedom and solidarity in the Hemisphere;

REAFFIRMING ALSO that democracy is a right and an essential shared value that contributes to the stability, peace, and development of the states of the Hemisphere, and its full exercise is vital to enhancing the rule of law and the political, economic, and social development of peoples;

REAFFIRMING LIKEWISE that Article 3.e of the OAS Charter establishes that every state has the right to choose, without external interference, its political, economic, and social system and to organize itself in the way best suited to it, and has the duty to abstain from intervening in the affairs of another state. Subject to the foregoing, the American states shall cooperate fully among themselves, independently of the nature of their political, economic, and social systems;

RECOGNIZING the important role played by regional and subregional organizations and mechanisms in the peaceful settlement of disputes in the Hemisphere;

RECOGNIZING ALSO the OAS Fund for Peace as one of the tools that help link confidence-building measures with efforts to bring together the parties to an international dispute;

REITERATING that, as stated in the Declaration of Santiago, the Declaration of San Salvador, and the Consensus of Miami, confidence- and security-building measures increase transparency and understanding among the states of the Hemisphere and directly bolster regional stability;

REAFFIRMING that each member state has the sovereign right to identify its own national security priorities and to define the strategies, plans, and actions to address its security threats, in accordance with its legal system and with full respect for international law and the norms and principles of the OAS Charter and the United Nations Charter;

REAFFIRMING ALSO that, in the context of peace, cooperation, and stability established in the Hemisphere, each American state is free to define its own defense instruments, including the mission, personnel, armed forces, and public security forces needed to guarantee its sovereignty, as well as to accede to the corresponding legal instruments, in the context of the United Nations Charter and the OAS Charter;

RECOGNIZING that arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation are essential to the maintenance of international peace and security;

REAFFIRMING the commitment to continue to strive to limit military spending while maintaining capabilities commensurate with our legitimate defense and security needs and fostering transparency in arms acquisitions;

RECOGNIZING the contributions and resources of member states in United Nations peacekeeping operations;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the important part played by the armed and public security forces in peacekeeping operations, in the United Nations framework;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT ALSO the important part played by the armed and public security forces and civil defense and protection agencies as part of a comprehensive response to natural disasters;

RECOGNIZING that the Declaration on Security in the Americas establishes that the concept of security in the Hemisphere is multidimensional in scope, includes traditional and new threats, concerns, and other challenges to the security of the states of the Hemisphere; incorporates the priorities of each state; contributes to the consolidation of peace, integral development, and social justice; and is based on democratic values, respect for and promotion and defense of human rights, solidarity, cooperation, and respect for national sovereignty;

AWARE that the new threats, concerns, and other challenges to hemispheric security are crosscutting problems that require multifaceted responses by different national organizations and in some cases partnerships between governments, the private sector, and civil society, all acting appropriately in accordance with democratic norms and principles, and constitutional provisions of each state;

AWARE ALSO that many of the new threats, concerns, and other challenges to hemispheric security of the member states are transnational in nature and may require hemispheric cooperation, with respect for the norms and principles of international law, including respect for the sovereignty and independence of states, noninterference in internal affairs, and abstention from the threat and the use of force against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of any state;

RECOGNIZING that peace, security, democracy, human rights, development, and cooperation are the pillars of the inter-American system, which are interlinked and mutually reinforcing;

AFFIRMING that the solutions to the challenges facing our peoples are inextricably linked with our efforts to promote sustainable development and social inclusion, forge more robust democratic institutions, strengthen governance in our democracies, preserve the rule of law and ensure access to justice for all people, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and achieve greater civic and community participation;

UNDERSCORING that conditions for human security are improved through full respect for people’s dignity, human rights, and fundamental freedoms, as well as through the promotion of economic and social development, social inclusion, education, and the fight against poverty, disease, and hunger;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that economic and social development, especially the challenge of reducing poverty in our societies, in particular extreme poverty, is as an essential part of the promotion and consolidation of democracy, which requires us to attach appropriate priority to allocating our resources to such development efforts;

RECALLING that discrimination, poverty, inequity, and social exclusion in the Hemisphere are factors that increase the vulnerability of people, especially children;

Reaffirming that it is necessary to mainstream the gender perspective in peace, security, and cooperation initiatives;

CONCERNED that, in addition to interpersonal violence and common crimes, many countries are confronted with some of the following threats: transnational organized crime, arms trafficking, trafficking in persons, the smuggling of migrants, the world drug problem, money laundering, corruption, terrorism, kidnapping, criminal gangs, and cybercrime;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the support expressed by the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council for the bilateral and multilateral measures adopted by governments aimed at reducing military expenditures, where appropriate; and

MINDFUL of the importance of fostering conditions that make it possible to limit the use for military purposes of resources that could be devoted to development,

DECLARE:

1. Their commitment to international peace, security, cooperation in order to address the traditional threats and the new threats that affect the region.

2. Their commitment to reinforce inter-American partnership for integral development and, in that context, to strengthen cooperation mechanisms and actions to urgently address extreme poverty, inequity, and social exclusion.

3. Their commitment to respect for international law and their faith in the peaceful settlement of disputes.

4. The obligation of member states in their international relations not to have recourse to the use of force, except in the case of self-defense, in accordance with existing treaties or in fulfillment thereof.

5. The importance of continuing to promote in the Hemisphere a climate conducive to arms control, limitation of conventional weapons, and the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, making it possible for each member state to devote more resources to its economic and social development, taking into account compliance with international commitments, as well as its legitimate defense and security needs.

6. Their commitment to ensuring that the Organization of American States continues to contribute to the overcoming of tensions and solution of crises, with full respect for the sovereignty of states and the principles of the OAS Charter; and, in addition, to continue supporting bilateral, subregional, regional, and international efforts, agreements, and mechanisms to prevent conflicts and achieve the peaceful settlement of disputes.

7. Their commitment to continue implementing confidence- and security-building measures identified in the Declaration of Santiago, the Declaration of San Salvador, and the Consensus of Miami.

8. Their firm commitment to promote transparency in arms acquisitions in keeping with pertinent United Nations and OAS resolutions on the matter; and to invite those states that have not yet done so to consider signing and ratifying, as the case may be, the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions.

9. Their invitation to those member states that have not yet done so to give prompt consideration to ratifying or acceding to, as the case may be, the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA).

10. The importance of continuing bilateral, subregional, and regional efforts to further advance cooperation on security matters and implement the agreements, declarations, and understandings adopted over the years with respect to peace, stability, confidence, and security.

11. Their commitment to strengthening cooperation in order to comprehensively address, with full respect for international law and international human rights law, the threats to the security of their peoples, including extreme poverty, social exclusion, the effects of natural disasters, transnational organized crime, arms trafficking, trafficking in persons, the smuggling of migrants, the world drug problem, money laundering, corruption, terrorism, kidnapping, criminal gangs, and cybercrime.

12. Their decision to continue fostering a culture of peace and promoting education for peace among the countries of the region, reaffirming our goal of continuing to devote more resources to the well-being of our peoples.